Mother Teresa’s a fraud. At least that’s what some would like to call her.
After the release of letters marked with telling confessions about her spiritual darkness, the media quickly and without reserve declared this discovery as a blessing. Others, on the opposite side of the spectrum, saw a scam finally exposed.
In Daylight Atheism, a Web blog devoted to expressing atheistic views, users unabashedly posted comments proclaiming Mother Teresa as a liar, someone who “needlessly made others suffer” and an atheist.
But articles on major news sites present a stark difference in attitude concerning Mother Teresa’s doubt and faith struggles. ABC News portrays her as the “patron saint of skeptics.” U.S. News & World Report describes her struggle as “truly exemplary.”
What to make of her – a saint or a fraud?
The fact that she stuck with her faith throughout her 50-year drought proves her perseverance, passion and devotion to a cause.
What would happen if more evangelicals in the limelight and followers of Christ openly expressed their struggles with Christianity and unleashed the doubts and questions that are kept so tightly concealed?
If highly esteemed Christians told the public the truth and provided a healthy aspect of dealing with doubts and questions that plague self-declared believers, the disclosures just may bring light into a person’s “dark night.”
James Martin, a Jesuit priest and author of the New York Times opinion article “A Saint’s Dark Night,” tagged it as ministering to the “doubting modern world.” And ministering to this doubting world with honesty of expression – struggles and all – draws in those who are already doubting and second-guessing the existence of God.
People find companionship in numbers. Who would not feel more comforted knowing they are not alone in their struggles?
Fraud or not, Mother Teresa’s darkness will cause some to discover the light. And although bringing light to your struggles may run the risk of deterring some from devoting themselves to Christ, it should be made known that doubts and struggles are part of the Christian walk. Not all things are pleasing when following Christ.
In fact it just outright stinks sometimes – but it never lets you down.